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Why is my computer waking up from a sleep state?

post #1 of 11
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The Wrath of the Restless Baby - a guide to neutralize the most common causes for automatic sleep resumption in Windows.

So you're getting ready to go out for a nice long night, partying and having a few (OK a lot of) drinks. Because by the time you return home, your intoxicated state will dictate that you have zero patience for your Windows PC to start up fresh (because what else would you do when you get home, besides jump on your rig and smash out some games?), so you decide to put your computer to sleep.

Partying ensues... smil3dbd4e4c2e742.gifdrum.gif ... a few more smil3dbd4e4c2e742.gifsmil3dbd4e4c2e742.gif ... band.gif

You return home, take your last sip of beer and head to the room. And ... *cue Jaws theme* ... you have returned to a room full of light, all 9 of your displays brightly lit like a street on Christmas Eve. In frustration you slam the bottle on the table, and head off to bed because your mood for a gaming session has been ruined by a crying baby. You'll tackle this issue the next day with a clear head.


Let's get back to the real world now, shall we? In general there are a couple of things that can cause automatic resume on Windows:
  • Misbehaving "wake armed" devices in the system
  • Wake on LAN
  • Windows wake timers
  • Issues with system firmware/BIOS.

How do we know which one it might be? Fortunately we can use a command in Windows to tell us what the last wake source was. In 80% of cases this will hold useful information and the process will be much easier to diagnose.

Determining the last wake source

1. Open an elevated command prompt (run as Administrator).
2. At the command prompt type powercfg -lastwake and press ENTER.
3. If there is any wake history, your output may look like this:
Code:
Wake History Count - 1
Wake History [0]
        Wake Source Count - 1
        Wake Source [0]
                Type: Device
                Instance Path: USB\ROOT_HUB\<device instance ID>
                Friendly Name:
                Description: USB Root Hub
                Manufacturer: <Standard USB Host Controller>

Here we can see that the last wake source was from a USB root hub. This is common when you wake the machine manually via the keyboard or mouse - as you are not waking the machine manually (why are you here again?), the culprit is likely a keyboard or mouse. Skip the next section below to find out which devices are "wake armed" and how to disable them from waking the system.

If your output reads Wake History Count - 0, continue below, but bare in mind that this can be a very tricky situation to diagnose. If your last wake source WAS NOT a hardware device, it could be a wake timer.

Determining which (and disabling) devices that are wake armed

In this section we can use another command to list all devices that are "wake armed". These are devices that have "Allow this device to wake the computer" enabled. If any of these devices are not behaving properly, they could be the culprit for waking your machine by itself.

1. Open an elevated command prompt (run as Administrator).
2. At the command prompt type powercfg -devicequery wake_armed and press ENTER.
3. Your output might be similar to this:
Code:
Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller
Logitech HID-compliant G500 Gaming Mouse
HID Keyboard Device (011)

As you can see from my output I have three devices that are wake armed - my network interface, my mouse and my keyboard. Fortunately for me, these devices of mine are working as they should and do not wake my system up on their own will, but yours may not be so cooperative. For troubleshooting purposes I would recommend you disable every device in your list - you can do this by following the below:

1. Open an elevated command prompt (run as Administrator).
2. At the command prompt powercfg -devicedisablewake <DEVICE> and press ENTER. Replace <DEVICE> with the name of the device you obtained from the steps above.
3. Repeat Step 2 for each device from the list obtained above.

As a general measure, I like to disable any wake-on-LAN functionality from the BIOS (if such an option is present).

If you have an add-in network interface, you cannot configure this from your system BIOS - instead use the option ROM it presents during boot, or if none, some drivers (Intel Pro comes to mind) provide a Windows property sheet in device manager for the adapter to turn off certain functionality, one of which is generally wake-on-LAN.

If after disabling each device above, or if your command listed no armed device, or if your last wake source WAS NOT a hardware device, the plot thickens. There are a couple of options left if you continue below.

Listing active wake timers on the system

Wake timers are a component of Windows 7 that is used by the Windows Task Scheduler. These allow scheduled tasks to wake the system in order to perform their duty. A wake timer is set when you select the "Wake the computer to run this task" option when the scheduled task is configured. Programs can programmatically (duh!) register scheduled tasks and set this option - so you may have no knowledge of this even happening.

Because these tasks are not critical, it can be easier to just disable wake timers in your power plan altogether. But first lets see if there are any wake timers set on your system (this is important if your last wake history was a wake timer).

1. Open an elevated command prompt (run as Administrator).
2. At the command prompt type powercfg -waketimers and press ENTER.
3. If your output is not "There are no active wake timers in the system", continue below.
4. To disable wake timers for your current plan, do the following:


1. At the command prompt, determine the currently active power plan by typing powercfg -getactivescheme and press ENTER.
2. Your output might be similar to this:
Code:
Power Scheme GUID: 381b4222-f694-41f0-9685-ff5bb260df2e  (Balanced)

Copy the GUID (381b4222-f694-41f0-9685-ff5bb260df2e in the example) someplace safe.

3. At the command prompt, type the following two commands, pressing ENTER after each one:
powercfg -setacvalueindex <SCHEME GUID> 238c9fa8-0aad-41ed-83f4-97be242c8f20 bd3b718a-0680-4d9d-8ab2-e1d2b4ac806d 000
powercfg -setdcvalueindex <SCHEME GUID> 238c9fa8-0aad-41ed-83f4-97be242c8f20 bd3b718a-0680-4d9d-8ab2-e1d2b4ac806d 000

Replace <SCHEME GUID> with the GUID you copied in Step 2.

If there were no wake timers ("There are no active wake timers in the system") or this did not resolve the issue you may try updating your system firmware/BIOS.

Other things to try

1. Reset your power plans to their defaults:
  • Open Control Panel and then Power Options
  • For each plan, click Change plan settings and then click Restore default settings for this plan.

2. Ensure sleeping is allowed if media sharing or media streaming is enabled:
  • Open Control Panel and then Power Options
  • Next to your currently active power plan, click Change plan settings and then click Change advanced power settings.
  • Under Multimedia settings - When sharing media ensure Allow the computer to sleep is selected.


I hope you have found this content useful. Please post for additions or any addendum.
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post #2 of 11
Cool, added to one of my stickies. smile.gif
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post #3 of 11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Webster View Post

Cool, added to one of my stickies. smile.gif

Swell! biggrin.gif
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post #4 of 11
This is brilliant! +rep!
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post #5 of 11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshd View Post

This is brilliant! +rep!

Thanks - seemed to be common and I was getting tired of re-writing the same thing over and over tongue.gif
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post #6 of 11
Absolutely terrific guide. This needs more exposure!

A quick aside: using the command prompt is a good way to diagnose what is waking up your computer, but for those that don't want to meander through command prompts to disable things, you can do it via Device Manager. Just bring up the window, find what the command prompt told you was waking your computer, go to its "Properties" and go to the "Power Management" tab and uncheck "Allow this device to wake the computer". I used this to find out my LAN was waking me up, so I went to the Device Manager to disable (since it was easier than typing it in).
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CasanovaFly View Post

Absolutely terrific guide. This needs more exposure!
A quick aside: using the command prompt is a good way to diagnose what is waking up your computer, but for those that don't want to meander through command prompts to disable things, you can do it via Device Manager. Just bring up the window, find what the command prompt told you was waking your computer, go to its "Properties" and go to the "Power Management" tab and uncheck "Allow this device to wake the computer". I used this to find out my LAN was waking me up, so I went to the Device Manager to disable (since it was easier than typing it in).

Thanks for the kind words + the tip! thumb.gif
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post #8 of 11
Sweet.
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post #9 of 11

just lafed so hard at the intro man 

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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davcc22 View Post

just lafed so hard at the intro man 

Oh god. I read it now and I'm like... man what was I on...
Ol' Sandy
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Ol' Sandy
(28 items)
 
"Zeus"
(12 items)
 
Elite Preview
(6 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3-1230v3 Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK MSI Gaming GTX 980 Kingston 32GB (4x8) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Plextor PX-256M5S 256GB Samsung EVO 1TB Hitachi HDS721010CLA332 Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 Hitachi HUA722010CLA330 WDC WD10EARS-00Z5B1 TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S223B 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Phanteks PH-TC14PE with TY-140's Lamptron FCv5 (x2) Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Dell U2412M 
MonitorMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Dell U2412M Dell U2212HM Dell U2713HM Topre Realforce 87UB | Ducky DK9087 G2 Pro 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair AX-750 Corsair Obsidian 650D Logitech G700 XTRAC Ripper XXL 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 250ohm Schiit Bifrost DAC Schiit Asgard 2 HiVi Swan M50W 2.1 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel Xeon E5-2620 Super Micro X9SRL-F-B 128GB 1333MHz LSI 9271-8i 
OSPowerCase
VMware ESXi 5.5 SeaSonic SS-400FL2 Fractal Define R3 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3437U HP EliteBook Folio 9470m  Intel HD Graphics 4000  16GB DDR3 SDRAM 
Hard DriveOS
256GB SSD Windows 10 Insider Preview 
  hide details  
Reply
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